With the winter season in full swing, accumulating snow can present a potential risk to senior citizens and others in poor overall physical health. From back or muscle strains to injuries from falls, to stroke, heart attack, or death, snow removal can be dangerous and every winter there is a substantial uptick in the number of visits due to snow removal.
For this reason, senior citizens and people with serious health concerns are well-served to get help to shovel areas such as sidewalks, driveways, and entranceways. If someone you care for requires support to clear away snow at their residence, here are tips for finding the best snow removal service.
Check with Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau can provide valuable feedback on companies who service your area.
Hire A Neighborhood Teen
If your neighborhood has teens, undoubtedly, one of them would be available to shovel snow for a modest fee.
Contact Churches or Community Centers
Some communities and churches have volunteers to assist in snow shoveling for shut-in people. Additionally, the local government may offer special programs to help with snow removal for senior citizens.
Doing It Yourself
If you decide to shovel yourself, keep the following in mind before you head outside, snow shoveling is a physically demanding task, even for people who exercise regularly and are generally fit. Before you shovel yourself, get cleared by a doctor.
If you are cleared, here are helpful tips to help avoid injuries.
Layer Your Clothing
Layered clothing helps your body to adjust between the colder temperature of the outdoors and your raising body heat as you shovel. Take care to cover your face, hands, and head while working.
Waterproof and Winter-Treaded Boots
Waterproof and winter-treaded boots help to keep your toes toasty warm, and your footing more assured in wintery weather conditions.
Small Shovels Work Best
Wet snow is quite heavy. Using a smaller snow shovel lifts less snow at a time, so these loads are lighter and cause fewer strains when handling the fallen snow.
Shovel More Often
While you might want to procrastinate on shoveling, if significant snowfalls are forecast, clearing paths and drives each time two inches accumulates helps to make snow removal more manageable.
Push Snow Instead of Shoveling
If you have a light dusting of snow on a mostly flat surface, pushing snow to the side could take less effort than shoveling, lifting, and tossing to the side.
Take Regular Breaks
When working to remove snow, it’s critical to give yourself breaks. Besides taking a break every twenty to thirty minutes, give yourself moments to catch your breath while shoveling.
Use Your Legs, Not Your Back
When clearing snow, you should always use your legs to lift, not your back. Always be sure to bend and straighten at the knee to prevent back injuries or muscle strains.
Invest in Snow Removal Equipment
Snow removal equipment such as snow blowers, plow attachments, and push plows can make the task of snow removal easier. However, the operator will still need to have the strength and physical capacity to operate them safely.
Use a Medical Alert System
If you or someone you love insists on doing their snow removal, wearing a medical alert system helps users to signal for help in the case of medical emergencies or other difficulties in the home.